Episode 33 - a Council, a Government, a yellow ribbon and more

We may only be a week into the new year, but there's been a lot of dog news already in 2013 - and not all of it good. In Belfast, the council has been considering banning dogs completely from all cemeteries, children's play parks and playing fields. The proposals have sparked outrage among local dog owners, with 1600 people signing a petition protesting the move to make all dogs be kept on leash on the area's beaches. Debbie discusses the likelihood that any objections or campaign will make any difference, and also reveals the sneaky strategy she suspects councils are now taking ont he subject of banning dogs from public places.

Meanwhile in Wales the government is seeking to extend the law to cover dog attacks on private property among other things. Julie has the story that the Kennel Club is warning dog owners and encouraging them to respond to the consultation on the proposals for the Control of Dogs (Wales) Bill. There are two sides to this question (at least!) and while people should be protected from attack even on private property, is it right that a dog biting a burglar should be treated the same as a dog who bites the postman? These may seem very different events to us, but how is a dog meant to differentiate? If you have an opinion on this matter you can find out how to leave feedback at the Welsh Government's website.
When your dog is reactive or not particularly dog friendly it can be useful to have a way to warn other dog owners and let them know to give you extra space. One scheme attempting to let dog owners do just that is the Yellow Dog Project. This started this year in June in Sweden and the idea is that if you attach a yellow ribbon or bandana, collar or lead to your dog, it will be a visible warning that other's can easily pick up. But how will Dogs Trust (who produce yellow bandanas) feel about this? And will owners be honest enough to follow the system, and could putting a yellow signal on your dog rebound on you in certain situations? It's a tricky one, and Debbie and Julie give it consideration.
Did you know that more than 1 in 20 dog owners had lost a friend or loved one from their life due to their smelly dog? Well that's what a recent study showed - and furthermore over half the 2000 dog owners that took part in the study said they had missed out on invitations to friends' houses because the friend was afraid they would take their dog with them. The pongy pooches may have rolled in something unsavoury, or may have flatulence, or even musty ears, but if your dog does smell a lot it may be worth getting your vet to take a look at him as some excessive smells can be due to a healthy issue. The newspaper coverage of this story mentions advice to bath your dog from The London Dog Forum, and on that website you can the Debbie Connolly Bites Back column. But apparently we dog lovers take the attitude of love me, love the smell of my dog!
In the North Shore News, Joan Klucha insists that a trained dog is a happy dog. She tells the story of how she encountered a group of women dog walkers and one woman failed to stop her dog jumping all over Joan's dog. The woman added insult to injury by claiming he did this because he was happy; something Joan absolutely refutes and argues persuasively against. Are you tired of off-lead dogs bounding up to you and your dog? And are you even more fed up with their silly excuses and the bad attitude they demonstrate? The truth is that a well trained dog is happy, not dominated, and retains all of his character without inconveniencing other dogs or people.

In the first Schmaltz Corner of 2013 we have a story to send you off with a smile - a Labrador mix puppy who was dumped at a shelter made his own happy ending, making a friend, finding a new home and warming many hearts. But did he warm Debbie Connolly's heart? Listen and find out!